One of the most exciting and underrated welterweight fighters in the world has flown under the radar of many fans for far too long.

So here’s hoping that 20 Quick Questions with Douglas “The Phenom” Lima will assist in more fans watching him in action when he defends his Bellator MMA title on July 17, 2015, against Andrey Koreshkov. Lima is not only immensely talented, he’s an overall great guy as well.

Below, Lima offers up some takes on past opponents, the world of mixed martial arts, and being a new dad plus a heartbreaking answer to whom he’d love to have dinner with.

SZ: Do you have the super-sized $100,000 tournament champion check from Bellator hanging up in your house?
DL: Not at the house but it’s hanged at my gym.

SZ: What was the most personally satisfying win of your career so far … the one that made you smile the most?
DL: For me every win is satisfying. It’s so hard to win because the preparation is so hard that getting my hand raised at the end means a lot to me no matter the fight.

SZ: Is it hard to fight and ultimately beat up a friend like what happened with Ben Saunders?
DL: No. For me it’s business. I’m fighting to feed my family and whoever is against me is in the way of that. It’s a war that needs to be won no matter what. We can be cool after but in there we are enemies.

SZ: You re-signed with Bellator MMA a couple of years ago when many believed you would go to the UFC. What was behind your reason for staying?
DL: I re-signed before my contract was up. It was a good contract and they take good care of me. That’s all I ask for.

SZ: Do you like Bellator MMA better now with Scott Coker running things or was it better with Bjorn Rebney?
DL: I never had any problems with Bjorn and still don’t. But you can see the big changes now with Coker. The show looks better every time and keeps getting better. It was the right thing to do and I’m happy to be part of it.

SZ: Back in your days as the Maximum Fighting Championship’s welterweight champion, MFC you had a big rivalry with Jesse Juarez that got pretty personal including both fighters’ coaches. Did you enjoy that fight getting as personal as it did?
DL: Yes definitely. Lots of things were said and I was pretty satisfied with the win especially that it was a title fight and I finished it. It’s very important for me to finish a fight. (Note: Lima won with a third-round triangle armbar. Juarez ended up with broken arm and leg.)

SZ: Again back in the MFC days there was the victory over Ryan Ford. Was that win particularly gratifying because it came in front of all his whole hometown fans?
DL: Yes it was pretty much me and Jucao against all of Canada, but I loved it. Not one person there believed I could beat Ford so it was good to get that win there. Also that was the fight that pretty much put me in the map.

SZ: After winning the Bellator tournament, you got your first title shot but lost a decision to Ben Askren. What do you think of Askren as a fighter considering all he did in that fight was lay on you and he has a reputation for not being a very interesting fighter to watch?
DL: I think he’s a great fighter. He did what he needed to do and beat me. It doesn’t matter how boring it was at the end of the day I still lost so I can’t say anything. It made me a better fighter that’s all.

SZ: What was the most challenging thing for you when you moved from Brazil to America?
DL: The language and being away from the rest of my family back home. We are all very close and I miss every day being away from them for so long. But I love America and I’m glad my parents brought us here.

SZ: Are you as surprised as others are that your coach Roan “Jucao” Carneiro has had such a successful comeback as a fighter?
DL: Not at all. We know how good he is and it was just a matter of time. He is one of the best coaches in the game and also a fantastic fighter as you all see. When he comes mentally ready no one can beat him!

SZ: What’s the best lesson you’ve learned in fighting from any coach or fellow fighter?
DL: MMA is a humbling sport. Just be humble to learn and work hard because there’s always somebody out there that can hurt you.

SZ: Could you see fighting the entire rest of your career in Bellator or is there a desire to be in the UFC which is unquestionably the #1 show?
DL: You never know what the future has for us. But for right now I’m happy where I am. I just want to fight the best.

SZ: As a pro fighter, what are the best and worst things about MMA?
DL: The only bad thing is the injuries that come with the sport. It’s brutal on your body. Everything else I love … the training, the winning, the traveling! I really can’t see myself doing anything else. I’m blessed to be doing something I love and supporting my family doing so.

SZ: What’s the strangest question or thing you’ve been asked to do by a fan?
DL: I was asked if it bothered me that a friend of mine had more twitter followers then me.

SZ: What is your favorite meal after a weigh-in?
DL: I still stay in a diet after weigh-ins but what I look for the most is pizza and sweets after the fight.

SZ: What are the biggest changes to your life since you’ve become a dad?
DL: The best thing that ever happened to me was becoming a dad. It’s crazy how much you can love someone. It’s made me be more responsible with everything and a better fighter, too, because I want to give them a great life and for that I have to win all my fights.

SZ: If you had your pick of any fighter, no matter what promotion he is with, who would you want to fight the most and why?
DL: I just want to fight the best in the world in my weight class and beat him. That’s my goal.

SZ: If you owned an MMA show, what would be the biggest difference you would make compared to all the other shows?
DL: I don’t think that will ever happen but if I could I would just pay every fighter more, not just the top fighters because I know how hard it is to make money as a fighter.

SZ: You can have dinner with any three people you want, living or dead, real or make believe. Who would they be and why?
DL: I only have two off the top of my head. My grandma, who passed away a couple years ago, and my cousin, who was murdered back home when he was only 18. I miss them a lot.

SZ: What do you enjoy more, submitting or KO’ing an opponent and why?
DL: Both. The real way for a fight to end is with a finish. It’s very important for me to get a finish because it really proves you are the better fighter. Also because I am so scared to leave it to the judges to decide who wins.

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.

  • Dr B

    100% class act!! This is a great young man who happens to be a phenomenal fighter. I wish him huge success in life.